Women and Alzheimer’s Disease

Women and Alzheimer’s Disease

Women are disproportionately impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, two-thirds of people with Alzheimer’s disease are women.

Why? While we still don’t know the exact reason why Alzheimer’s disease affects women differently and with greater frequency, hormones have been implicated as a culprit. That’s because estrogen supports the area of the brain responsible for forming memories, the hippocampus.

Women and Alzheimer’s Risk

Age is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and women live on average longer than men. Yet science also links hormones to increased risk.

In women, estrogen regulates the hippocampus – the brain region attributed to memory. During menopause, women experience a rapid decline of estrogen which some believe may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It also regulates stress and inflammation, two triggers that can negatively impact memory and more complex neural networks in the brain.

Today, leading researchers continue to examine the role of hormones and hormone therapy in the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Facts and Figures About Women and Alzheimer’s Disease

According to The Alzheimer’s Association, the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s disease on women is attributed to both age and biological factors. Genetics also play a role. Some research even suggests societal and cultural factors contribute to the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in women, including education, occupation, and reproductive history.

Here are the latest research findings about women and Alzheimer’s disease:

  • An estimated 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Of those, 4 million are women and 2.5 million are men
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease are women
  • In Florida, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase by 24% by 2025.
  • The prevalence of AD increases with age, from 1% to 15% of all people in their 80s
  • Approximately one-third of Alzheimer’s cases are thought to be preventable
  • Women’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at age 65 is approximately 1 in 5, or 20%
  • Comparatively, men’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at age 65 is 12%
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 4th leading cause of death among women and is attributed to 6% of all deaths behind heart disease, cancer and stroke
  • Women aged 60+ are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as they are to develop breast cancer
  • Risk factors for developing dementia are more common among women, including depression and anxiety
  • Women who have three or more children have a 12 percent lower risk of dementia compared to women who have one child*
  • Women are more likely to mask symptoms, resulting in more severe burden of disease at diagnosis and more rapid deterioration
  • Women make up more the 60% of dementia caregivers

*The link between reproductive history and Alzheimer’s risk is new, but points to more gender disparity associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

For more comprehensive information related to 2022 Alzheimer’s disease fact and figures, download the latest Alzheimer’s Association Report. The Alzheimer’s Association also publishes these quick facts about women and Alzheimer’s disease.

Women and Alzheimer’s Research

The conversation around women and Alzheimer’s disease has broadened to encompass world-class scientists and a health system renowned for pioneering medical breakthroughs. In February 2022, Cleveland Clinic joined forces with The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) to form The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at Cleveland Clinic (WAM at Cleveland Clinic). The partnership will expand the focus on prevention to understanding the connection between gender and neurodegenerative conditions.

This is significant in more ways than one. For starters, additional funds allocated to research will fuel discoveries around neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and how they affect men and women differently. More importantly, it could lead to significant advancements in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Another group called WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s (WA2) advocates more funding for women-focused Alzheimer’s research. The organization believes “sex-based differences are the gateway to precision medicine, offering new scientific avenues to accelerate progress.”

According to its website, by understanding gender differences,  WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s hopes to achieve medical breakthroughs that can help both women and men and move us toward more effective treatment and care.

Women and Alzheimer’s Prevention

Still, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which is one reason why medical professionals emphasize prevention. For decades doctors have been touting the importance of healthy eating and sleep habits and the unwanted health effects of stress and anxiety. Science suggests lifestyle and behavioral modifications may prevent Alzheimer’s disease and the resulting physical, social, and financial toll it takes on affected families.

If you are going to get Alzheimer’s disease, most would prefer to know sooner rather than later. Genetic testing such as the apolipoprotein E (APOE) screening tool now helps people understand their genetic risk. Understanding risk can lead to earlier interventions that may influence or slow Alzheimer’s disease progression. It may produce an opportunity to participate in clinic trials. At the very least, early intervention allows one to make preparations and plans for the future to ensure proper care and a higher quality of life.

Despite your genes, gender, eating and exercise habits, there is still much to learn about what causes cognitive decline and associated dementias. In the meantime, examining the biological differences between genders will help scientists develop more accurate dementia risk measurements and help medical professionals design better prevention strategies to benefit both women and men.

Women and Memory Care

Given what we know about women and Alzheimer’s disease, technological and medical advancements are on the horizon. Product innovations are already here.

One such innovation called Serenades For Her celebrates the distinct differences between genders by emphasizing women’s need for privacy, comfort and socialization. This new and exclusively female memory care neighborhoodat Serenades Memory Care communities offers profound implications for the future of memory care in Florida senior living communities.

Women exclusive memory care combines robust social programming and activities to create a sense of sisterhood, enduring friendships, and mutual support among women with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The all-female memory care approach at Serenades is pioneering the way in which we manage the distinctive symptoms of dementia in women to provide a higher quality of life throughout all phases of the disease. 

For more facts about the cause, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and women, download the latest copy of the World Alzheimer’s Report.

Discover exclusively female memory care at Serenades for Her.
Find a community near you or schedule a visit to learn more.

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Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.

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Family Letter Limelights: Sonata Boca Raton, May 2022

Family Letter Limelights: Sonata Boca Raton, May 2022

Occasionally we find it necessary to unapologetically toot our own horn. Particularly when it illuminates the amazing work Sonata’s team members are doing every day. This month our Family Letter Limelight features a shout out to Sonata Boca Raton. Thank you, Sonata Boca Raton, for understanding the importance of connecting with family.

Letter To Sonata Boca Raton

Thank you, Shelly Ann, Stephanie, Jennifer and the entire team at Sonata Boca Raton for the excellent care you have provided for my mom and in helping our family with this impossible and sad condition.

The Sonata team works to bring out the BEST in each person through careful medical attention, engaged activity, healthy meals and a true understanding of personal interaction.

The Sonata team understands the ‘whole person’ and the importance of connecting with family. They made it a priority to have safe, distanced, outdoor visits even in the height of the pandemic – all within the guidelines. They also have social gatherings for families and do so much onsite in Memory Care including exercise, pet visits, games, musicians, and sing-alongs. One of the reasons we chose Sonata is due to the engagement and true understanding they have for the emotional well-being needs.

Memory Care is not the same around the country, or state, or even locally. My mom is in a much better place than when she was on her own and so vulnerable. Sonata has helped ‘reinvent’ what Memory Care is by creating a community feeling – and all in a beautiful setting with a lot of both indoor and outdoor space.

The team at Serenades really cares about the residents and puts their heart into their work and communicates with families.

It’s a tough condition to navigate through and we are grateful for the support and environment that Sonata provides.

Thank you Shelly Ann and to the entire team,

Anonymous

About Family Letter Limelights

Occasionally and unabashedly we like to illuminate the amazing work and service our team members provide at Sonata Senior Living by sharing letters we receive from our families. Family Letter Limelights represent unedited, unsolicited letters we have selected to share with the public.

We share these letters in a spirit of gratitude to acknowledge the dedication of our team members and associates who make it possible for Sonata to fulfill its mission of enriching the lives of older adults through innovation, care and services that honor individuality and personal choice. At Serenades Memory Care, our personalized approach is evidenced through purpose-built design and person-directed care, as well as our unwavering emphasis on service excellence. Community, care and programming are all designed to support freedom and independence, while celebrating the individuality of every resident affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

About Serenades Memory Care

Serenades by Sonata is an award-winning memory care program unlike any other found in the state of Florida. By focusing on what remains of the memory, Serenades Memory Care integrates the personal preferences and abilities of residents into daily activities to promote independence, support freedom of choice, and improve quality of life in those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Using a purpose-built model, Serenades Memory Care communities incorporate features proven to positively affect the treatment of dementia symptoms. These include beautiful, yet simplistic floor plans, color-coding, and cueing for easy orientation and navigation.

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is a licensed owner, developer, and operator of independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities located exclusively in Florida. Recognized by Argentum as a Best of the Best Award recipient for memory care programming and design, Sonata Senior Living is committed to enriching the lives of older adults through constant innovation, programming, and services that recognize individuality and personal choice. Partners include the Florida Senior Living Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care® and Argentum. For more information visit sonataseniorliving.com.

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How Games Help Senior Health

How Games Help Senior Health

If there is one thing we do well in Florida, it’s to have fun. It’s one of many reasons why Florida retirement communities offer everything from physical activities like pickleball, water aerobics and golf to group games and activities for virtually any age and ability level.

The Impact of Games on Senior Health

Florida senior living is about healthy aging, and games are at the heart of that endeavor. At Sonata Senior Living, we see games as an opportunity to socialize, prevent loneliness, and improve longevity, among other benefits. That’s because the physiological act of play is vital to relieving stress, reducing depression and anxiety, improving cognition, and most importantly, connecting with other people.

How Learning New Skills Keeps You Sharp

Any form of social interaction will yield positive emotional and physical results, according to scientists. That’s not all! The research also shows that learning new games can significantly improve cognitive ability.

Challenging your brain leads to higher mental functioning. In fact, one study found that older adults who interacted with people beyond their usual social circle of family and close friends were more likely to have higher levels of physical activity and fewer negative feelings.

In a retirement community like Sonata Senior Living, the opportunities for learning new skills while forming new friendships are extraordinary. We examined a few of the more popular games at our independent living and assisted living communities to see how they engage the mind and body.

Brain-Boosting Games For Seniors

Using your brain, laughing, and socializing all contribute to health and cognition. Laughter enhances the immune system, relieves stress and pain, and improves mood. There is some evidence to suggest that brain activity and positivity can also delay or have a preventative effect on dementia.

Card games and trivia are very popular activities in senior living communities:

  • Trivia: Trivia is a type of game in which players, either individually or on a team, are asked questions about different topics, and they must get as many correct answers as possible.
  • Mahjong: A classic Chinese game played with 136 or 144 rectangular pieces called tiles. The objective is to collect winning sets of these tiles.
  • Rummikub: Players take turns placing numbered tiles in runs or groups. Similar to Rummy, the first player to use all of their tiles wins.
  • Hand Knee and Foot: A card game where each player is dealt two sets of cards – the hand, which is played first, and the foot, which is played when the hand has been used up.
  • Lucky 7: Lucky 7 is a fast completive game of solitaire played with coasters.

Senior Games For Social Engagement

Social interaction and engagement are a byproduct of almost any game. But complex games that require more attention may not encourage as much conversation.

Some games never get old. These classic games have been around for years, and for a good reason. Games that can be played on a table, aka “tabletop games,” are fun for everyone and promote group interaction and socialization.

  • Bingo: A game in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly. The winner is the first person to mark off five numbers in a row.
  • Dominos: The object of dominoes is to score the most points by putting your tiles down in the most strategic way.
  • Scrabble: A board-and-tile game in which two to four players compete in forming words with lettered tiles on a 225-square board.
  • Puzzles: Individual pieces are joined together to form an image and offer a great way to engage and relax simultaneously. Puzzles can be adapted to accommodate an individual’s cognitive ability.

Senior Games For Mind and Body

Exercise is vital to healthy aging and longevity. It is the key to remaining active and independent as we age.

There are many reasons why Florida is the retirement capital of the world. Outdoor games are ideal for Florida’s year-round warm weather and sunny disposition.

In retirement communities, we love games that move the body and engage the mind while promoting balance, flexibility, and eye-hand coordination.

  • Wii Bowling: A fun video game where you use a controller to mimic the action of bowling.
  • Drum Fit: A fast, fun way to get mild cardio using hand-eye coordination. Participants sit and use drumsticks on exercise balls, drumming to songs.
  • Lawn Bowling: Not quite as active as indoor bowling, lawn bowling in perfect for those with limited mobility who still want to enjoy Florida’s outdoor lifestyle.
  • Pickleball: A popular sport in Florida that combines elements of ping-pong, badminton and tennis, without requiring as much strength as regular tennis.

Responding to the popularity of Florida’s growing pickleball community, Sonata Lake Mary residents will enjoy a new state-of-the-art pickleball court with no membership required!

Senior Games For Mind and Mouth

In senior living, food is so much more than a means to better health and nutrition. It is fundamental to comfort, socialization, and satisfaction of older adults. In short, food makes us happy.

It’s no wonder games and social events tend to be more enjoyable whenever food it involved. People of all ages love food. Plus, food gives us more energy to carry on having more fun!

More “activity” than “game,” these activities at Sonata Senior Living engage the senses while stimulating the mind.

  • Armchair Travel: An opportunity to learn about exotic destinations while enjoying the native foods, music and culture of the chosen country.
  • Painting with a Twist: Residents enjoy a group painting lesson where you sip a beverage or cocktail of your choice.
  • Chopstick Challenge: Racing against the clock, players must transfer the items from their food bowl to the empty bowl by using the chopsticks. The player who does this first is the winner.

Sonata Senior Living: Your Gateway to Health and Life-Enrichment

When it comes to fun, Sonata Senior Living in Florida has you covered with variety and engagement built into our lifestyles programing. Life enrichment activities incorporate games designed to stimulate the mind and body while promoting socialization, independence, health and happiness.

Schedule a visit or call to learn more about life enrichment activities at Sonata Senior Living.

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Sonata Senior Living Announces Serenades for her, Memory Care Exclusively for Women

Sonata Senior Living Announces Serenades for her, Memory Care Exclusively for Women

Sonata Senior Living, an Orlando-based owner, operator, and developer of senior living communities, is proud to announce Serenades for her, a new and exclusively female memory care lifestyle option available at Serenades Memory Care communities in Central Florida. This leading-edge program is accepting new residents at Serenades at the Villages, Serenades at Longwood and Serenades at West Orange.

Located within each Serenades community, Serenades for her neighborhoods are undergoing extensive transformations to cater exclusively to women affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Memory care programming at Serenades for her will accommodate a woman’s greater need for socialization. All-female neighborhoods create a robust social environment in which women can revel in a newfound sense of sisterhood, enduring friendships, and mutual support. Activities will support social interaction tailored to female preferences, including art, music, culture, food, games, and group exercise. Dining and family room environments are also exclusively women-only to emphasize community and social interaction.

The opportunity for more woman-to-woman relationships can be life-affirming. Not only do women have on average longer lifespans than men, but they also experience Alzheimer’s disease and dementia differently and with greater frequency. The all-female neighborhood concept simplifies life for the resident and her loved ones, providing a greater degree of gender-specific privacy while giving family members increased peace of mind.

Serenades for her will feature a more feminine color palette and décor aimed at evoking a sense of comfort and serenity. Further enhancements to flooring will soften architectural features and furnishings to promote tranquility.

Amenities, too, will have a distinctly feminine appeal. The popular Bath-tique Spa offers the opportunity for moments of pure luxuriance while the on-site salon specializes in women’s beauty services. A beautiful outdoor courtyard and garden space beckons to fulfill her desire for communion with the natural world.

Personal care at Serenades for her rests soundly on Serenades’ award-winning programming, which combines innovative design features with person-directed care to underscore the impact of making personal choices on one’s quality of life.

Renovations are underway and reservations are being accepted for immediate move in. For more information, visit serenadesmemorycare.com.

About Serenades Memory Care

Serenades by Sonata is a highly effective award-winning memory care program unlike any other found in the state of Florida. By focusing on what remains of the memory, Serenades integrates the personal preferences and abilities of residents into daily activities to promote independence, support freedom of choice, and improve quality of life in those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Using a purpose-built model, Serenades Memory Care communities incorporate features proven to positively affect the treatment of dementia symptoms. These include beautiful, yet simplistic, open floor plans, color-coding, and cueing for easy orientation and navigation.

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is a licensed owner, developer, and operator of independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities located exclusively in Florida. Recognized by Argentum as a Best of the Best Award recipient for memory care programming and design, Sonata Senior Living is committed to enriching the lives of older adults through constant innovation, programming, and services that recognize individuality and personal choice. Partners include the Florida Senior Living Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care® and Argentum. For more information visit sonataseniorliving.com.

EXPECT MORE PEACE OF MIND


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.

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The Future of Memory Care Includes More Pink

The Future of Memory Care Includes More Pink

The differences between men and women are well documented with the conversation seemingly as old as life itself. In recent years, however, science is catching up.

When a professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggested that Every Cell has a Sex, it caught the attention of many. This idea extended the topic beyond equal rights and into the field of medicine to emphasize how biological differences between the genders cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to treating disease.

From the baby blue or pale pink of our very first onesie to the vitamin supplements our doctor recommends, gender differences have influenced the way in which we interact with the world. Now, too, the way in which we care for those with Alzheimer’s disease acknowledges the fundamental differences between the genders.

It has long been known that women have longer lifespans than men do and experience Alzheimer’s disease differently and with greater frequency than their male counterparts. Women are even at greater risk of attention deficit than men.

These statistical phenomena are all related. Two-thirds of clinically diagnosed cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are women, according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, with the longer female lifespan cited as the primary reason for the difference.

Scientists are now shedding light on important differences between the sexes around the beneficial effects of socialization as well. Recent scientific studies underscored that, not only do women find social interaction more rewarding than men, but they are more sensitive to the rewarding effects of oxytocin. The study went on to discover that females find same-sex social relationships to be more rewarding than males do.

Exclusively Female Memory Care

The science behind gender differences offers profound implications for the future of memory care and is the driving force behind an innovation called Serenades for her. This new and exclusively female memory care community is now available at Serenades Memory Care communities in Central Florida.

Serenades for her emphasizes a woman’s need for the utmost in privacy and comfort in daily living. Combined with robust social programming and activities, residents will experience a newfound sense of sisterhood, enduring friendships, and mutual support.

Women and Social Behavior

The opportunity for more woman-to-woman relationships can be life affirming, especially to those with dementia.

Sociotropy, a word you don’t very often, is defined as a person’s tendency to value interpersonal relationships. Women score higher than men on the sociotropy index scale.

Even as dementia impairs memory and cognition, the human need to form meaningful emotional connections persists, particularly among women. Designed to accommodate a woman’s desire for socialization, female-exclusive memory care promotes social interaction and engagement while focusing on female preferences, including art and music, food, games, and group exercise.

All-female neighborhoods in memory care communities also have beneficial effects on family members. Dementia behavior can be difficult to predict, and new relationships formed in a community can sometimes be confusing. The women-only neighborhood concept simplifies life for all, providing a greater degree of gender-specific privacy while giving family members increased peace of mind.

Women and Design Preferences

Have you ever wondered why girls tend to like the color pink? While cultural bias is certainly involved, color preferences may be also rooted in science and evolution.

An article published in goodhousekeeping.com examined the body of work on the topic of gender color preferencesonly to conclude both biological and cultural influences may be involved.

Science and stereotypes aside, most people agree, pink is, well, pretty, and the all-female neighborhoods at Serenades for her feature a pastel color palette to evoke a sense of comfort and serenity. Visual enhancements to flooring and décor are also used to soften architectural features and promote tranquility.

Amenities, too, have a distinctly feminine appeal. Serenades for her all-female memory care incorporates a spa for moments of pure luxuriance. An on-site salon specializes in women’s beauty services. And a secure, outdoor courtyard and garden spaces enable communion with nature.

Gender Differences: Nature or Nurture?

It’s commonly accepted that how we are nurtured as children is responsible for most conventional gender-based beliefs. In academics, these differences are widely documented by anthropologists. Known as gender ideology, conventional male and female roles are cultural concepts invented by humans. What is traditionally “masculine” and “feminine,” for example, is largely shaped by culture.

Still, the literature on gender differences has been widely examined by scholars and remains divided. Research shows biological components are at least in part responsible and points to differences in aspects of language production, comprehension and pragmatics. More specifically, women are more likely than men to use language to form social relationships and react differently than men to social stimuli. Scientists have also linked structural differences in the brain to differences in cognition, emotional control and neurological disorders.

Whether nature or nurture, male or female, the advantages of socialization among older adults is widely supported in research. As we age, our contact with others becomes limited and increases our risk of social isolation and associated health conditions. Increased opportunities to socialize in a memory care community lowers the risk of developing chronic disease associated with social withdrawal. Meaningful social activities such as those offered at Serenades Memory Care Assisted Living communities give older adults a sense of purpose, which is linked to a healthier immune system.

Discover more about exclusively female living at Serenades For Her.
Find a community near you or schedule a visit to learn more.

EXPECT MORE PEACE OF MIND


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.

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